Bladder infection in men. The bladder is a storage place for urine and is located in the lower abdomen. The urine comes out through the urethra. If you have a bladder infection, the mucous membrane of the bladder is inflamed and sometimes the urethra also participates. In rare cases, the higher urinary tract and kidneys may also be inflamed.
Symptoms of cystitis / urinary tract infection
You often have a burning or painful feeling when urinating. You have to go to the toilet more often, but there is always just a little. You may feel pressure or pain in the lower abdomen.
The urine sometimes smells unpleasant or is cloudy, sometimes there is even a bit of blood in the urine. With bladder infection, one generally has no fever, at most some elevation (less than 38 degrees Celsius). It is also possible that you hardly have any complaints and you do not even notice that you have a bladder infection.
You may have prostatitis in addition to the bladder infection; this is an inflammation of the prostate. The prostate gland is just below the bladder in the lower abdomen. The urethra runs from the bladder through the prostate towards the penis. In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, in the case of prostate inflammation, you may also suffer from nagging pain between the anus and the bag, in the groin or the back. It is often the case that the urine stream is weak and sometimes it is difficult to hold up the urine.
How does a bladder infection develop in men?
A bladder infection is usually caused by bacteria. It is often bacteria that live in the intestines and enter the bladder through the urethra. People who cannot empty their bladder properly, for example, men with an enlarged prostate, are more likely to have bladder infections. A little urine always remains in the bladder. The bacteria can grow more easily in it. Furthermore, an underlying disease, such as diabetes, can make people more susceptible to cystitis. Prostatitis can also be caused by the same type of bacteria. In addition to an infection in the bladder wall, these also give an infection in the prostate. In some cases, a sexually transmitted bacterium, such as the Chlamydia bacterium, is responsible for the infection.
Is it serious and what can you expect?
Standard treatment An uncomplicated bladder infection is not dangerous and can be treated well. If the doctor has diagnosed the disease, he can prescribe an antibiotic cure. In some cases, cystitis does not respond well to this standard treatment. This may be due to an underlying disease, such as diabetes or an enlarged prostate, that impedes the outflow of urine. Sometimes the treatment is successful, but the bladder infection returns. There is then a recurring (a recurrent) bladder infection. In both cases, the underlying cause must be further examined and treatment is required to prevent the bladder infection from getting worse.
Kidney infection the infection rises from the bladder to the upper urinary tract, kidney infection may occur. This is more serious than a common bladder infection. You often feel much more sick about this. Often there is a pain in one or both sides of the back, just below the ribs. You now have a (high) fever, sometimes chills and you often have to vomit. Causes of renal pelvis infection may be an untreated or insufficiently treated cystitis. Furthermore, rising infections occur more often if there is a blockage in the urinary tract, such as an enlarged prostate. This makes it harder for urine to drain away with bacteria, and bacteria find their way up to more easily. Prolonged backflow of urine can cause kidney damage, especially if there are also bacteria in the urine. It is therefore important that a bladder infection,
When to the doctor?
If you suffer from one or more of the above complaints, it may be wise to go to the doctor. The doctor will examine your urine for bacteria. You usually need to collect some urine and take it with you. This is best done by withdrawing the foreskin and first urinating a little in the toilet before collecting the urine in a jar. This way you collect the ‘cleanest’ urine, ie urine that does not contain any bacteria that are outside the bladder. Take this to the doctor within two hours. If that fails, you can keep the urine in the fridge for up to 24 hours. The doctor will also do a physical examination. With older men or if there is a reason to do so, he will also check whether your prostate has been enlarged. He does this through internal examination (by feeling the prostate from the anus).
If the doctor has diagnosed a bladder infection, he will prescribe antibiotics for a number of days. It is important to complete that course, even if you no longer have any complaints. Otherwise, bacteria may still be left behind that can cause a new infection.
If the urinary tract infection returns, the urine will be cultured to see which bacteria is in it. Another antibiotic can then be given for which the bacterium is sensitive. The GP will also assess whether it is necessary to investigate further the causes. Even if you have prostatitis, a course of antibiotics is usually prescribed. It must then be considered whether the cause is possibly a sexually transmitted disease so that you and your partner (s) can be treated correctly.
What can you do about a bladder infection / urinary tract infection?
With a bladder infection it is in any case important to drink a lot; try to drink at least two liters a day. Because of this, you will pee a lot and ‘clean’ the bladder. In addition, it is important to urinate properly so that some urine is not left in the bladder. Go to the doctor if you have complaints of a weak jet and difficulty urinating. You can then have an enlarged prostate.
General advice and precautions
Drinking a lot (at least two liters) every day reduces the risk of cystitis. Pee regularly and pee your bladder well. This way you prevent the bacteria from multiplying. It is also better not to hold your pee too long. If you have a sexually transmitted disease, it is advisable to use a condom during intercourse. This way you can prevent the bacteria from being transferred to your partner.
Source: W. van Donselaar, in dokterdokter